December 22, 2010
Why basic numeracy is important
A quite extraordinary transcript of a billing dispute:
[Caller]: Okay, I think I have to do this again. Do you recognize that there's a difference between one dollar and one cent?
[Caller]: Do you recognize there's a difference between half a dollar and half a cent?
[Caller]: Then, do you therefore recognize there's a difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents?
[Agent]: I mean there's... there's no .002 dollars.
Via. If a dispute over $71 versus 71c seems beneath your notice, scroll up to the top of the thread where the business and economics editor of a major US magazine gets equally defensive about a similar error, except on the order of trillions of dollars.
Then again, given that the said economics editor is apparently paid $200000 per year despite a history of such errors, maybe the title should be “Why basic numeracy is not important.”
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